Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Minister Designate of the Upper West Region, has said the people of Wa and the Upper West Region in general knew him as a principled person.
He said he had been dealing with different ethnic groups without any interference or religious bias.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting, the nominee agreed that religious issues were very sensitive and said he would continue on the path of being principled to ensure harmony and accelerated growth of the Region.
Dr Salih promised that as the Head of the Regional Security Council, he would ensure that the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies were on top of issues when the Committee pointed out to him of reported increase in armed robbery cases at Bole and the Lawra–Hamile stretches of the highway.
He promised to laise with the security agencies and the Police to increase patrols in the Region.
The nominee said security issues, poor nature of roads and healthcare delivery were the three major challenges of the Region and stressed the need to market it to make it attractive to investors.
As an educationist, Dr Salih agreed for the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies to be granted autonomy, adding “I think every region in Ghana must have a state university.”
He promised to harness all resources to give agriculture the necessary boost and to have a “region that is at peace with itself to create opportunities for all.”
Dr Salih expressed worry at conflicts between Members of Parliament and District Chief Executives over the release of the former’s share of the Common Fund, and expressed the need for the two to work as a team for the development of their regions.
The Regional Minister Designate, who, by his Curriculum Vitae, has risen on the academic ladder and served the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Upper West Region in different capacities, said he saw politics as an opportunity to serve his people and the community.
“As a Muslim, I know destiny can be delayed, but cannot be denied. My advice to the youth is that they should be patient and at the appropriate time they’ll be recognised and rewarded,” he said.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, the Member of Parliament of Wa West, former Secretary (Minister) of the Upper West Region, and a Vetting Committee Member, on behalf of the Upper West Regional Caucus in Parliament, congratulated Dr Salih on his nomination.
He, however, advised him to work cordially with all the MPs, ensure teamwork and co-operation and involve the caucus in his activities.
Mr Chireh expressed concern over the attitude of some past regional ministers who promised to collaborate with the caucus but ignored them after assuming the position.
He advised Dr Salih to always ensure peace prevailed in the districts and the Region and coordinate with the traditional leaders to discuss ways of mediation.
“Whatever you do, we’ll work with you as team and support your efforts,” Mr Chireh assured.
Some personalities that witnessed the vetting were Mr Bernard Mornah, Chairman of the People’s National Convention, Dr Abdul Rashid Pelpuo, Member of Parliament of Wa Central, and some traditional chiefs of the Region.
Members on the Appointments Committee who hailed from the Region or have familial ties with it were Mr Anthony Abayifaan-Yoh Puowele Karbo, MP for Lawra and Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, Volta Region.
By: Benjamin Mensah